May 25, 2004
I stick out my tongue when I concentrate. I have done this every since I was a baby, evidenced by the dozens of pictures of me in the bathtub, tongue sticking out, me playing with trucks, tongue sticking out, me wearing a really big sombrero, tongue sticking out.
I'm sure I picked this trait up from my father. Though my personality is much more like my mother's, my mannerisms are very similar to my dad's. We both close our left eye in the sun. We both cup our chin and our mouth in our hand when we are thinking, our elbow resting on the wrist of our other arm. And we both stick out our tongues when we are concentrating. I have a picture of my dad playing tennis in college. He is about to serve the ball across the court, and his body is a statue of force and grace and movement. And there is his tongue, pressed against his lower lip.
When I was a kid, basketball really brought it out in me, and my coaches would always say, "does your tongue help you shoot the ball?" And now that I'm in my twenties it still hasn't gone away. In fact, it has started to drive me crazy. At Imago, I spend about two hours per day in intense concentration while I am performing and, I know this may seem odd, I have started to experience tongue fatigue. I remind myself to stop doing it about every ten seconds, to no avail. My tongue, the tired but committed bastion of concentration, just won't stay in my mouth.
Tongues are really, really weird. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan. But whenever I think about my tongue I can't help but be amazed. Seriously. Go stand in front of a mirror, stick out your tongue, and stare at yourself for a minute. It won't be long before you get totally weirded out.